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NOW With Alex Wagner

News/Business. Alex Wagner. Forces driving the day's stories. New.

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Us 8, Washington 7, Michael Moss 6, Israel 5, Syria 5, Sam 4, Heather 4, Obama 4, America 3, Sam Stein 3, New York City 3, Gary 3, Aflac 3, Netenyahu 3, Toviaz 2, Alka Seltzer 2, Joe Biden 2, New York 2, Jake 2, Charmin Ultra Soft 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    March 22, 2013
    9:00 - 10:00am PDT  

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a hairline fracture to the mandible and contusions to the metacarpus. what do you see? um, i see a duck. be more specific. i see the aflac duck. i see the aflac duck out of work and not making any money. i see him moving in with his parents and selling bootleg dvds out of the back of a van. dude, that's your life. remember, aflac will give him cash to help cover his rent, car payments and keep everything as normal as possible. i see lunch. [ monitor beeping ] let's move on. [ male announcer ] find out what a hospital stay could really cost you at aflac.com. president obama still believes in change you can believe in. it's friday, march 22nd and this is "now."
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joining me today, political editor and white house correspondent, at the hu "huffington post" and as msnbc contributor, sam stein. vice president of demos, heather mcagree, politico's political reporter jake sherman and bloomberg's senior national correspondent, josh green. president obama is now ming with jordan's kill abdullah. they're expected to discuss the civil war in syria as well as prospects for peace between israel and the palestinians. yesterday the president delivered a speech filled with optimism and hard truths to a room filled with israeli students, beyond endorsing a two-state solution, the president asserted that forging a lasting peace is a matter of civil rights. couching it the broader question of what it means to be a democracy. a return to the signature themes
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of the 2008 campaign and the early days of his presidency. as he outlined in cairo in 2009, the president began by affirming america's respect and its commitment. >> i've come here to cairo to seek a new beginning. between the united states and muslims around the world. one based on mutual interest and mutual respect. so long as there is a united states of america. [ speaking foreign language ] >> you are not alone. >> as he did in his landmark 2008 speech on race, the president argued that despite our differences, it is hope and the fundamental optimism about the next generation, that bonds us together. >> we may not look the same and may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction. towards a better future for our children. and our grandchildren. >> but before i, before i came
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here, i met with a group of young palestinians. i honestly believe that if, if any israeli parent sat down with those kids, they'd say, i want these kids to succeed. >> and reminiscent of the grassroots movement that carried him to the oval office in 2008, president obama made clear his belief that true power lays in the hands of the people. >> the change we need doesn't come from washington, change comes to washington. >> change happens, change happens because the american people demand it. >> political leaders will never take risks if the people doing not push them to take some risks. you must create the change that you want to see. >> even as he admonished his israeli audience for their treatment of the palestinians, the president was greeted by rousing applause and standing
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ovations, it was a bold and emotional appeal. perhaps one of the most direct appeals by a president to citizens of a foreign country. although it remains unclear what it will accomplish. as jonathan chait writes, he can't make netenyahu negotiate peace, but as much as he could do with a speech, he did it today. sam, i noticed on twilter that you and i both when he started talking about change yesterday in his speech to the israeli students, we both remarked on it as kind of a thee mmatic secondt to the campaign ideals of hope and change. >> the themes were very similar as your crafty producers pointed out. the themes were similar to what he was talking about in 2008 when the audience was predominantly young americans, more like you are the change you
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can believe in. i think he was trying to go around the israeli political establishment and create the movement of sorts, to you know recognize that palestinians deserve a state, that they have just as much right to self-governance as the israelis do. and that you know, i've been using this construct, there's security to peace, which is one way to look at it but there's also peace to security. i think that was the argument he was trying to make yesterday. >> the justice peace of it was also really pronounced heather and we've talked about the president's second inaugural. and the fact that he's laid out a vision for this country that some people have said it's decidedly progressive. but at its core is about peace and justice. >> he linked the struggle in the middle east to peace and the civil rights movement and the long march for justice. that humanizes everyone. he talked about the joshua generation, an underrecognized theme in his 2008 campaign and
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the idea there is it was actually the next generation, the joshua generation that pulled the people out of, out of the wilderness and into the promised land. and a lot of people have talked about how our generation, the sort of post civil rights generation is going to be the generation to do that. >> the joshua generation, josh. >> we could say josh. one of the things that was interesting. a light motif that's run throughout president obama's presidency has been the idea that at the heart the two sides really aren't separated by as much as we think we are. you saw him making that appeal, put yourself in the shoes of a young palestinian. that sort of thing. that was fairly effective for him in american politics. i saw his speech as trying to kind of spark that same kind of movement in the middle east. in hopes that he could overcome the sort of calcified political stalemate. >> and that's even happening. to the degree, the president doesn't have hope posters printed up and they're not distributed in the same way they were in 2008 or distributed at all. he still believes that his power lays with the people and so far
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as he's kept, jake, the campaign infrastructure alive, ofa continues. much to some people's chagrin, given the donor structure. but at the end of the day, that's where obama's power is probably going to come from in the next two years. >> i'm going to draw this back to washington and how he deals with congress. he tries to go around congress, tries to campaign. but at the end of the day like we saw with the sequester, we don't know what he's actually going to do to achieve peace or turn off the sequester. so there's a parallel there. this is one of the last opportunities for him to do this because the two growing populations in israel are orthodox jews and palestinians. who more than anybody don't really agree with obama's stance on the middle east and on a two-state solution. so the next couple of years are incredibly important for the peace process. >> they were very limited policy aspects to the speech. two things that he did say that struck me were one when he called out increased settlement activity. which he said was counterproductive. he didn't call for an end of it but he said it was counterproductive.
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and the other thing was the end where he said you can't just keep knocking down rockets, you can build as many iron domes as you want, but it's not the solution. there's israeli politics dating back to the age of zionism in the '20s and said that you had to build an iron wall and seduce them into believing that you can't have a two-state existence. >> you can build as many iron domes as you want, in the end it will never result in peace, you have to be engaging. >> he's also making the argument that real security comes through sort of an interweaving of two cultures or an acceptance. there's never going to be a wall high enough. what you really have to do is start on the person-to-person level. >> and to jake's point, you cannot have app democratic israel with the current demographic trends as well as a jewish israel. those two things won't be sustainable. at some point you have to make the tough choices. >> and he dropped back to what's happening here domestically.
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he asks israelis the question of ha do you want your democracy to look like. and that's sort of the question he poses to americans. what kind of country do you want for yourselves and for future generations. >> absolutely. i mean he really was saying, this is your country to make of it what you want. and that's a very empowering message to give to young people who have grown up at a time with really political hard lines. and it really you know, i mean obama, president obama is still an extraordinarily powerful figure on the international stage. >> and i think it's meant to be a catalyst, too. he recognizes and alluded to the fact that the only way change is going to come if politicians aren't leading the way is if the people push them into making decisions. that they on their own don't want to make for whatever reason. >> there's a down side to this, also. it leaves a lot of people wondering where the u.s. is on the specifics. >> that is the question, what does it practically mean in terms of forging a peace in the middle east? i will say a couple of things, sam. one is if you look at the polling among young people as far as support for a two-state solution, it's lower by about 10
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to 20 percentage points than it is among older israelis. that's one thing, interesting, especially given the reception that he got when the president was very explicit about a two-state solution. the standing ovation, the applause, et cetera. but in terms of he's meeting, he's meeting with middle eastern leaders, he's departing, going back to washington on saturday. is he going to try to shepherd through a peace process in the waning years, last three or four years. >> i would say yes, but i think i would be laughed off the panel. it's so tough. i don't think anyone sees in the next or in the immediate future the prospects of an actual sustainable peace process coming to fruition. they had an opportunity i think right when he came into power. dennis ross was dispatched. it seemed moderately hopeful, the cairo speech gave a lot of legs to that. but at this juncture, i mean it is, i just don't think the two sides are even close. i mean maybe i'm not the biggest middle east expert. zh more like an attempt to build a foundation. begin to build a foundation upon
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which that peace process can eventually be expanded. >> but there's also i mean it's worth noting, the thing that's is going to be discussed, i mean we don't have full read-outs yet. but it's iran and syria, right? the thing that is i think probably more pressing and urgent or at least weighing on the president's heart, if not his mind, are the questions of what to do about the killing of 70,000 people in syria. and the you know, iranian nuclear weapons, heather. so the question becomes where does he use his capital? and one would think it's probably not for the raerls and palestinians, but elsewhere in the region. >> unfortunately, these things are all interdependent and that's whey gets, you can't have so much instability, you can't come off the arab spring and not translate into a real democracy for all of these countries. and then say there should be this new flourishing of democracy in the israeli and palestinian situation. and so he's going to have to walk and chew gum at the same time. he's going to have to keep sort of the discourse up, keep
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empowering forces other than netenyahu in israel. keep showing that palestinians do variety to justice, while dealing with really urgent security problems. >> from israel's perspective, they would much rather prioritize syria and iran before the peace process. because if you achieve peace with the palestinians, but yet chemical weapons are leaking out of syria -- >> on the note of the netenyahu relationship with the president, jake, there's given that netenyahu's closeness, what should we call it, bon homie with mitt romney, there was a lot of, a lot of armchair what is it, analysis of the relationship between the two men. and they seem to really be overcompensating for whatever daylight exists between them. they were like literally wearing matching outfits. >> holding hands. >> there was the ipad app. the unshakeable unbreakable alliance logo and the actual pomp and circumstance. i thought it was really interesting, netenyahu's office
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released this statement after president obama's speech -- p.m. benjamin netenyahu thanks u.s. president barack obama for his unreserved support for the state of israel. prime minister netenyahu shares president obama's view regarding a need to advance peace that insures the security of israel's citizens. if that is not like acme-like boilerplate, official statement i don't know what is. >> these two guys need each other more than ever and netenyahu has a government and a coalition that is not right behind him. that's actually going to be an obstacle to what him and obama want to do and obama is a second-term president, so they are bffs for the time being. and i think netenyahu's coalition is a problem for him. i think that's going to be a stumbling block. >> you didn't read the end of the statement where you said he's going to officiate obama's bar mitzvah next year. >> he picked up some good hebrew. >> i feel like literally you can see the brackets -- insert leader's name here.
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coming up, opponents of gun safety legislation are well documented. but apart from the nra and the right flank, there is another group that could swing the pendulum, red state democrats. we will examine the intersection of reform and self-preservation,
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visit a branch or call now for your personal retirement review. step forward or step back. last night, harry reid laid out the details of the gun safety bill that congress will take up when it returns from its two-week easter recess, included universal background checks, not included, an assault weapons ban and a limit on high-capacity magazine clips. though they are likely to receive separate votes as possible amendments. senator chuck schumer hailed it as progress, saying this moves the ball forward on gun safety in the senate. appearing alongside vice president joe biden and new york city mayor, michael bloomberg yesterday, neil heslen whose son was killed in the newtown tragedy. wasn't so sure. >> quite honestly, i'm really ashamed to see that congress doesn't have the guts to stand
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up make a change. and put a ban on these type of weapons. >> despite the omission of the assault weapons, magazine clips from the base bill, biden continued to fight the good fight. >> for all those who say we shouldn't and can't ban assault weapons, for all those who say the politics is too hard, how can they say that? when you take a look at those 20 beautiful babies and what happened to them. and tell me, tell me how it violates anyone's constitutional right to be limited to a clip that holds ten rounds instead of 30. >> the central component of the senate bill, universal background checks, has overwhelming public support. but despite this, the fate of the bill remains unclear. while republican opposition is a given, several vulnerable senate democrats up for re-election in 2014 have yet to publicly
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embrace the new gun safety measures. at yesterday's event with joe biden, mayor bloomberg had a word of warning to those of either party who might stand in the way of progress. >> if you stand up and try to prevent this from happening again, i will support you. and if you do not, i will support whoever runs against you, no matter who they are or what party they are. >> josh, is that what he says when you don't turn your articles in on time? the threat -- i will come at you and crush you. >> they actually send moose and rocco to make me finish up my articles. i think this shows kind of the new battle we have in politics. a year ago, no one could imagine a prominent politician, leader like mayor bloomberg, coming out and making that kind of threat. now it's, in many ways the center of our national political debate. >> jake, denizen of the halls of congress, how compelling is that message. it's a new message, as josh pointed out, not something we've
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really seen before. you look at the senate dems up for re-election, baucus, begich, landrieu, my ir. >> i don't think any member of congress i've spoken to has ever chalked him up as a threat. but the house of representatives has republican members from rural states, that don't really think much about mike bloomberg, he could dump as many money as he wants into the campaign. but you've seen republican super pacs and other republican organizations, dump as much money into it when republicans go home to their districts across the country, in the south, in the west where hunting is huge, i don't think any of them are hearing a desire for gun legislation. and there's an idea that maybe we need some action-forcing event. we've had several of them. there was a shooting this morning and republicans are not talking about this. >> then how do you square that with the polling? which is so overwhelming -- nothing gets 91%. like extra-long recess might get
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support of like 91% of the country, personal recess, not even in schools. all i'm saying is gallup, 91%. cbs news, 91%. abc news/"washington post" 91%. overwhelming support for background checks, and yet, sam, we don't even know if it's going to get done. we don't know if it's a given. >> 75% of rank-and-file nra members supporting universal background checks. >> how does that make any sense? >> it doesn't. >> it does, though. the reason it's happening is because of the nra's leadership. it is a perfect example of an out of control interest group that's gotten everything it wants. it's like a shark, it has to keep moving forward and pushing in order to justify its own existence. even of its own members are open to background checks. >> i think we're slightly misreading the policies of background checks. the fact that harry reid has now ostensibly dumped the assault weapons ban has cleared up a little bit of the politics here.
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precisely because these red state democrats want to vote against it they want to show that they have defeated the most controversial provision in the bill. however, with background checks. >> that frees them up, you're saying? >> i think it might free them up a little bit. and joe mansion who is -- you know, in 2010, was brand issuing a shotgun to shoot and cap-and-trade legislation in a campaign commercial. he's got his gun bona fides, he's on board with the background check bill. he's been negotiating with chuck schumer. i think he is, he can, you can read the temperature of the politics by looking at him. with respect to red state democrats. now is it a done deal? no, of course not. i think the house is a little bit more complex. i think there are a lot of suburban republican members in the northeast, including new york and pennsylvania, who may be receptive to something like this. >> most of those people are gone and have lost, there's a handful left. >> there's a handful. >> i think the reality remains that yeah, it's like when you
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say do you want to balance a budget. a lot of people are in support of that but are not in support of what's behind it. i think people are, they say that they're in favor of universal background checks. they're not when it comes to the floor of the house. and people also say that this isn't going to solve the problem. the laws aren't being enforced, there's so many outs for republicans right now. whether they're doing it for politics or they're doing it to represent their constituents, this is such an ingrained belief for so many of them. from georgia, from alabama, from florida, from across the south and the west. i don't see it as a reality. >> meanwhile, children will still be killed. >> the bottom line, meanwhile, the thing that keeps parents up at night, the idea of someone being able to walk into their kids' classroom and unload a 30-capacity round without having to recharge and snuff out the lives of dozens of children is completely unaddressed, even though the assault weapons ban and banning and limiting high-capacity magazines still has the majority in this country. >> i do think we should not lose sight of the moral argument here. i want to read an excerpt from
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you, eugene robinson who has a strong editorial in the "washington post." we all know what's happening, senate democrats face a tough battle next year to hold on to their seats, so why should senate democrats go out on a limb for something that's so unlikely ever to become law? the answer isn't political, it's moral. the answer is that this is a moment not to do the expedient thing, but instead, to do the right thing. >> that's to your point, heather. and i think, interested to know if nothing happens, which is remains a possibility, right. there's a possibility that universal background checks won't even get through. how implicated is the white house in all of this? how much does this anger people on the left, people in the center, progressives who want to see some kind of gun safety reform come out of what's happened to the country in the last year? >> i think it depends on the story-telling. there are facts here that really actually help the general progressive case around why it is that basic common sense policies, the things that keep us all up at night, are not
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getting through washington. it's a campaign finance story. it's a fact that the nra spends 75 times more than the brady campaign lobbying and 3,000 times more, giving to campaigns and doing outside political spending. so if the president is able to take the story to places that he's been a little bit uncomfortable to, as president, which is you know, this is not a system that is able to look out for the common interests of most americans if they can't write big campaign checks, i think that would be great. >> that's going to be complicated prescription. >> there's gun legislation passing every week. at the state level. so there is forward progress being made. i think it's worth remembering that a lot of the governors pushing those bills are also 2016 presidential hopefuls. so it may not fly politically right now. but in a couple of years, i think you're going to see it. >> this is why reid put the background check into the baseline legislation. because he could, there was talks a couple of days ago about not having that and introducing it as an amendment as well. but if you didn't have it in the
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bill, it would have demoralized a ton of people. and i guess they realized they had to at least fight that battle. if they were going to die on that proverbial hill, so be it. and ofa, the new organize for action, whatever it's called, they've made -- you can't keep track of all of these ofas. >> i feel you, brother. >> thank you. they have made background checks the top priority, top legislative priority. they've put out a bunch of email asks on them. they've organized a lot of volunteers around that. they are weighing into this or leaning into this. i don't know if it's going to turn the tide. >> i think it's worth just making note of this before we go. jake, as we talk about the power of the gun lobby. a, the nra raised $1.6 million in february, the best monthly total since october of 2000. gun permit applications are up in newtown. this is the craziest part. this has gone underdiscussed, in "u.s.a. today" they report, this week with little attention or discussion, lawmakers passed a half a dozen gun provisions,
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most of them designed to please the nra. the worst of these so-called riders tacked on to a must-pass spending bill to keep the federal government open until this fall insures that no federally licensed gun dealer ever has to conduct a gun inventory. it is shocking. that happened, in the cr, completely unrelated. as we were having a huge national discussion about gun safety reform issues, it gives you one step forward, half a step back. i don't even know what the sort of footprint on that is but the nra's influence, can't be underestimated or overstated. >> it shows the hurdles in getting something done. the nra has been on capitol hill for aimings and has a lot of allies, including speaker john boehner who might have to push a controversial immigration bill through his had house. is he going to put two bills on the floor that could anger his base and hurt them in 2014? potentially and hurt his tenure as speaker? that remains to be seen. >> you know what that means, josh, your boss, mayor bloomberg -- do you call him
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your boss? like -- >> i call him sir. >> is going to have a busy next couple of years. >> well you know, hopefully he's got a bank account. >> something tells me he does. >> to fund it. >> we have to take a break. but the gun reform discussion continues. this weekend on "meet the press." david gregory will talk exclusively with new york city mayor, michael bloomberg and nra ceo wayne lapierre. if that is not must-see television, i do not know what is. this is this sunday on "meet the press." coming up, merriam webster defines the addiction as the compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance. so when scientists are literally altering the physical shape of salt, what chance does an addict stand? we will examine the national jonesing for junk food when author michael moss joins us just ahead. the only thing we'd ever grown together
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health reformers are taken on the likes of big tobacco and big pharma. but is the biggest culprit -- big junk? we'll talk the science and business of addictive food with, author michael moss, coming up next. ♪ i'm your venus [ female announcer ] what does beauty feel like? find out with venus embrace. every five-bladed stroke gives you 360 degrees of smooth for goddess skin you can feel and feel. ♪ i'm your venus only from venus embrace. otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air.
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[ female announcer ] from meeting customer needs... to meeting patient needs... ♪ wireless is limitless. [ female announcer ] from finding the best way... ♪ to finding the best catch... ♪ wireless is limitless. it's over, it's over, we can't handle it, we don't know what to do. everyone is confused, we're at the point now where people are just calling out in the middle of eating, can someone take these chips away from me! >> it's no surprise to anyone that americans are addicted to junk food, with endless aisles of doritos, oreos, coke, dr. pepper and little debby snack
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cakes. americans spend more of their grocery bill on processed sweets and foods than any other food group. but the new book by michael moss, puts a spotlight on the role that food companies have played in getting us addicted to the holy trinity of taste buds, salt, sugar and fat. he goes inside the laboratories where food scientists calculate the bliss points of sugary drinks and salty snacks. quoting the makers of processed foods have chosen, time and time again, to double down on their efforts to dominate the american diet, gambling that consumers won't figure them out in their hands the salt, sugar and fat they have used are not nutrients so much as weapons. weapons they deploy to keep us coming back for more. today, americans consumer 8500 milligrams of salt every day. more than twice the recommended maximum. and 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. more than two and a half times the recommended limit and then there is the fat, something we
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consume in large part without even knowing it. fat, moss writes, is what listless chips into crunchy marvels. all this salt, sugar and fat is not without consequence. in america today, one in three adults and nearly one in five children are clinically obese. 26 million people have diabetes, 79 million people show the early signs of diabetes and gout, once the decent of renaissance kings now affects eight million americans. the cost of this obesity is $300 billion a year. if there is truth to the expression, you are what you eat, it looks like americans are in trouble. joining us now, is michael moss, an investigative reporter at "the new york times" and author of the best-selling book, "salt, sugar, fat: how the food giants hooked us." a very compelling read, michael, great to have you on the show. >> nanks for having me. >> even though i'm a self-admitted dorito lover i've
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had to step back from the bag since i started wreeting your writings. let's talk about how this happened. we were looking at grocery spending. in 1982, processed foods were 11.6% of the american grocery bill. by 2012, they were 22.9%. what happened? >> you can go back to the start of the century. one of the first problematic products was cold cereal. the founder of kellogg, john harvey kellogg hated sugar, he had santerre yums in battle creek, michigan wouldn't allow any customers to touch sugar. a little family feud happened. brother will came along and said hey, we can make a lot more cereal and sell it if we can add a little bit of sugar to it and that was the beginning of the presweetened cereal we now see in the supermarket. can you trace it to that beginning. the obesity epidemic itself started in 1980. where a number of things happened, including our own dependence on convenient low-cost processed foods deepened. that's one of the themes going through the book. which for me was really like
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being inside a detective story. looking at how these companies have, have deepened our dependence on salt, sugar fat especially. >> and the other thing that is just staggering is the science. the amount of research and development they put into every aspect. you talk about something called the bliss point. >> yes. >> which anybody who has bitten into a cheeto, which i'm sure you have, sam stein, and you threw the bag away, so there would be no evidence about your orange fingers. the bliss point is the apex of like taste, sensation, sound, crunch, the rest. i want to read a little bit about the science. one of the most compelling and unsettling aspects of the role of salt, sugar and fat in processed foods is is the way the industry in an effort to boost their power, has sought to alter the physical shape and structure, scientists fidsling with the strab use of fat gl
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globules everyone altering the physical shape of salt. >> i used to think salt was a rock they pulled out of the ground and broke up a bit. there's more than 40 types of salt if you include the additives that they add to salt. starting with the super fine powder that melts and dissolves, soup which is hugely salty. going to my favorite, a kosher type of salt, shaped like pyramids with flat sides so it sticks more easily to the food and it dissolves much faster in your mouth. the saliva picks up the salt taste. shoots right to the pleasure center of the brain. which says to you -- hey, this is great. let's eat some more. >> how, here's my question. >> i'm really thirsty. the way you described it. >> that's the other thing, it's a testament to the pull of these foods, even reading the teleprompter and saying the words, oreo, i feel like homer simpson, you want it. it's a deep reptilian craving. everybody should weigh in, is there a chance we can go back?
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>> i have a question on that, on that very point. have i know there's been a ton of work to figure out how to like make foods less, less bad for us. >> has there been any work to refigure our brain to prevent us from being addicted in the first place. >> anybody who knowes if you stop eating processed foods for six weeks you can hardly go into the grocery store and find something that's not hugely salty to you, you can bring your salt taste down. one of the amazing things to me are not only are we addicted to these and hooked on these three ingredients, but the industry itself is intractably hooked because salt is a miracle ingredient. it helps them avoid using more costly ingredients, it's so cheap, like fresh herbs and spices and it masks bad flavors
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inherent to some processed foods. >> has there been any brain science? >> no, maybe the opposite. you have to realize, the industry, the a word, there's no word they hate more than the addiction word. they love cravable and snackable and alluring. >> how do we as consumer who is want to avoid the salt heroin that shoots right to our brain, how do you go about avoiding these things? >> i'm working through this myself because i've got two boys eight and 13 and they are walking bliss points for sugar. but here's what you do. i mean you walk through the door of the supermarket. they're doing everything they can to make a spontaneous decision. so you make your list and you stick with it. then you look for the fringes of the store, the fruits and vegetable aisle. where everybody says we should be spending more time. and that's absolutely true. when you get to the center of the store. here's what they do. they put the most loaded items at eye level in the center of the iaisles. so the answer to that is look
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low and reach high and you're going to find those better for you cereals, et cetera. >> i do want to talk, there is, i mean there's obviously something consumers can do in terms of being more vigilant. but there's the role that government plays and we'll get into that discussion. first and foremost. there's the money that goes into the corn industry and the money that goes to the sugar industry, in terms of taxpayer subsidies for junk food in the year 2011, 1.over $1 billion went to junk food ingredients, the cheetos are like clouding my mind, since 1995, $18.2 billion was spent on junk food. between 1995 and 2006, the government paid out $56 billion in corn subsidies. >> not only do we pay on that end, we pay on the back end. if you think about the whole conversation about our long-term debt. it's a health care spending problem. and the people who are most panicked about these obesity
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trends are looking at it from a dollars-and-cents point of view. we're not able to do all we need to do on education and like, you know, long-term security and all these things, because we are making choices right now, to insure that children become super-addicted and grow up in obesit obesity. >> two choices, one you tax the junk food and the white house is looking at this. what if you just shift some of those subsidies over to the fresh fruits and vegetables, which get none now. they're so much more expensible than the highly processed foods. then at least you could level the playing field for parents who go into the store well meaning but know they're going to get hit in the pocket book by eating healthier. >> that would be the nanny state. >> we have to take a quick break. when we come back we will talk nanny state versus land of cheat-os, after the break. [ dog ] we found it together. on a walk, walk, walk. love to walk.
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we are back with author michael moss, talking about sam stein's dangerous and unhealthy addiction to cheetos and what we can do to stop it. michael we left the last segment talking about what governments are doing to step in and sort of deal with the issue of obesity, health concerns and the marketing of junk food to americans and also children what do you make of efforts like mayor bloomberg who has been obviously leading the charge, although not without great controversy to wean new york city residents at least, off of jumbo-sized sodas, cigarettes, his latest effort is to put cigarettes beneath the counter so people can't see them. how effective do you think that's going to be in the long-term, the city and state level initiatives. >> i understand the criticism of him on the nanny state issue. but people have to know it's not a level playing field. these food giants are spending tens of millions of dollars, targeting going after the most
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vulnerable people and that's who bloomberg is trying to protect and you've got, you've got to realize it. they're not going to stop. these are not evil empires intent on making us obese or otherwise ill. these are companies doing what companies do. which make as much money as they can selling as much product they can. and they're staffed by the smartest best marketing people. and that's not going to stop unless there's government intervention or unless consumers stand up and be a lot louder about what they need. because people really care about what they're putting in their bodies. >> there's an economic side to this, too, right? lower income americans are much more susceptible to obesity and diabetes. food deserts are an issue, getting access to broccoli, subsidized or not. 13.5 americans live in a food desert. meaning they don't have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. >> it's been interesting to see the white house try to take on this issue from the first lady's point of view where they've been partnering with the big
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corporations to try to do voluntary things. if you look at how much money, because it sort of with the obama administration, all the science you're talking about that has shown how addictive it is. there's a push to do something about this. in the obesity trends, saw the food industry doubling its lobbying money. you saw them reclassify pizza as a vegetable. you saw them kill -- the kill this sugar salt and fat, limits in marketing to children, on the other hand you see let's move and voluntary labelling. >> taco bell was trying to get food stamps to be able to spend it on tacos. >> the affordable care act is a significant victory in this regard, not only did it fund preventive care, which went into making sure that people knew what they were putting in their bodies. but it also advanced the availability of nutritional standards for people going out and purchasing food. you could see exactly what you were ingesting, and those are
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two underreported aspects of the affordable care act. >> which sees its anniversary saturday. we have to leave it there. that was an awesome discussion, i'm not going to eat doritos after the show. i'm going to think about broccoli. thank you to the panel. sam, heather, josh, kale chips, michael moss, the book is "salt, sugar, fat: how the food giants hooked us." "hubris" reairs this evening at 9:00 p.m. and at 10:00 p.m. i'll talk about it with chris matthews and chris hayes and michael isikoff and i'll be back on monday when i'm joined by former governor ed rendell and magic johnson. plus a bonus -- "now" at night, i will be hosting an hour of primetime. all week, next week, 8:00 p.m., "andrea mitchell reports" with chris, rock and roll cillizza,
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